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B+ raspberry pi

Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

You might think that as a purveyor of a nifty compact computer selling in the millions, you’d consider two years after the debut of your first offering that it was high time you tempted back the buyers with a go-faster, more capacious and shinier model. Heck, Apple and others don’t even wait that long: they upgrade products year …
Tony Smith, 27 Aug 2014
Pimoroni/Cyntech Pibrella

Hungry for humbler Pi? Check out kid-friendly LED-laden Pibrella

There is no shortage of clip-on boards designed for the Raspberry Pi, almost all designed to make the tiny computer’s GPIO pins more accessible in order to ease the connection of devices to it, particularly ones that operate at voltages that are not Pi friendly. Pimoroni/Cyntech Pibrella Jump to the beep: the Pibrella from …
Tony Smith, 08 May 2014
Sinclair Research Pandora

Loki, LC3 and Pandora: The great Sinclair might-have-beens

We all know about the ZX80, the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum and its successors, and the QL. But these weren’t the only microcomputers Sinclair Research worked on during its brief life between 1979, when it emerged as the renamed Science of Cambridge, and 1986, the year its brand and products were bought by Amstrad and it was shut down …
Tony Smith, 19 Feb 2014
Pebble

Samsung Gear splurge skews smartwatch market Google’s way

Strategy Analytics, a market watcher, has provided an object lesson in how statistics can give a potentially skewed picture of the evolution of a new product category. Samsung Galaxy Gear Around a million Samsung Galaxy Gear were pumped into the channel after its launch SA yesterday claimed that Google’s OS, Android, …
Tony Smith, 14 Feb 2014
Micro Men

Micro Men: The story of the syntax era

is an occasional column written at the crossroads where the arts, popular culture and technology intersect. Here we look back at the BBC TV movie Micro Men, a retro-tech fan favourite which tells the story of the rivalry between former colleagues Sir Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry, and how the two men kickstarted the British …
Tony Smith, 14 Feb 2014
Amstrad CPC 464

You’re NOT fired: The story of Amstrad’s amazing CPC 464

It was a home computer that embodied so many contradictions. It was launched months after the British microcomputer boom of the early 1980s had peaked. It was a rush job: the machine that was revealed to the press in the Spring of 1984 hadn’t even existed nine months previously. It was one of the best-produced British micros of …
Tony Smith, 12 Feb 2014
Apple 20th Anniversary Mac

Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

There has been no shortage of rose-tinted retrospective adulation marking the 30th birthday of the Macintosh over past weeks. Here at El Reg, we’d be the last to deny Apple’s significance and continuing influence on the history of personal computing. But to put everything in perspective, we thought it was worth looking back at …
MoPi

Boffin dreams up smart battery gizmo for Raspberry Pi fiddlers

Raspberry Pi-packing makers who are devising mobile projects or seeking to set up stationary Pi-based devices that operate beyond the reach of the mains will get a big jolt of help next May if a new doohickey wins sufficient backing on crowd-funding site Kickstarter. MoPi is a T-shaped board that drops onto the tiny computer’s …
Tony Smith, 05 Feb 2014
Intel Galileo

The other end of the telescope: Intel’s Galileo developer board

Any notions that the Arduino platform is completely wedded to the Atmel ATmega family of microcontrollers have been shattered. The ARM-equipped Arduino Tre, which is based on Texas Instruments’ Sitara chip, is coming in the spring. And here, now is Intel’s Galileo, an Arduino board based on one of Chipzilla’s x86 processors, the …
Tony Smith, 29 Jan 2014
HP Chromebook 11

HP Chromebook 11 quietly slips back on Google Play shelves... but where's the FIRE?

HP and Google have returned their long-absent Chromebook 11 to the Play Store. The £229 cloud-centric notebook is in stock and ready to be “dispatched from warehouse in 1 - 2 business days”, the site says. HP Chromebook 11 is back HP launched the Chromebook 11 back in October 2013, in particular pitching the laptop’s ability …
Tony Smith, 24 Jan 2014
Science of Cambridge MK14 close-up

Ian Williamson: The engineer who gave Sinclair his first micro

Before Sinclair Research and the QL, the Spectrum and the ZX81, before even Sinclair Computers and the ZX80, there was Science of Cambridge and the MK14 microprocessor kit. Released in February 1978 - that’s when the first adverts for the mail-order-only offering appeared, at least - the MK14 entered the SoC pipeline late in the …
Tony Smith, 16 Jan 2014
Nest Labs' The Nest

Google's Nest gobble: Soon ALL your HOME are BELONG to US

Google’s proposed $3.2bn purchase of Nest Labs, a maker of internet-connected round-the-home devices, shows that the online advertising giant considers the Internet of Things a serious proposition. A very serious proposition. It’s easy to be dismissive of the move. Nest is best known for an internet-enabled thermostat and a …
Tony Smith, 15 Jan 2014
Sinclair QL

Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

In May 1983, Sinclair Research Managing Director Nigel Searle began briefing the press about the successful British micro maker’s next big release. It was 13 months after the company had launched the Spectrum and although that machine had become a huge success, punters and market-watchers were keen to hear about what Sinclair …
Tony Smith, 12 Jan 2014
Acer C720 Chromebook

Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

Can Google’s Chromebook become the laptop platform of choice during 2014? Probably not, but there’s certainly demand for it. According to US market-watcher NPD, during the 11 months from January through November 2013, the platform’s share of the computing device market had risen to 9.6 per cent from just 0.2 per cent in the same …
Tony Smith, 10 Jan 2014
Razer Nabu

Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

The Las Vegas-hosted 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is still running, of course, but the majority of the announcements have been made: a fair few before the show even started, in a bid to get ahead of the rest. Like early morning shoppers, though, everyone figures out the pre-show press release trick soon enough and now …
Tony Smith, 09 Jan 2014
Intel Edison

Intel bungs PC on an SD: Tiny computer for Internet of Things and wearables

Intel has put a PC into an SD card-sized casing. Dubbed Edison, the micro-microcomputer marks the chip giant’s first attempt to address the emerging wearable computing business; part of its strategy to cope with a world where punters buy far fewer traditional personal computers. Or, more specifically, where ARM and not Intel is …
Tony Smith, 07 Jan 2014
Dell Chromebook 11

Dell confirms Chromebook for Blighty

Dell has confirmed its first Chromebook will be coming to the UK, though it’s not yet saying how much the 11.6-inch Google laptop will cost over here. In the States, the Dell Chromebook 11 is “expected to sell below $300” (£183), the PC giant said today, so you’re probably looking at a retail price over here of £220 to £250, …
Tony Smith, 06 Jan 2014
CSR Bluetooth Jewellery

Bluetooth 4 BLING: Fashion, not tech, will sell those wearables – wireless chip maker

British Bluetooth chip and systems maker CSR is turning its back on sceptical techies in the hope of winning the fashion world’s support for its wearable computing hardware. Having asked ordinary punters about their attitudes to wearable computing, CSR says it found that few of them care much about the technology. "What does it …
Tony Smith, 06 Jan 2014
Intel NUC D54250WYK

Haswell micro: Intel’s Next Unit of Computing desktop PC

Never let it be said that Intel doesn’t respond to criticism. Its first Next Unit of Computing (NUC) micro-desktop, which appeared in the first few months of 2013, wasn’t a bad machine, but it prompted grumbles from reviewers (myself included), about some odd design and packaging decisions. Intel NUC D54250WYK New NUC: all the …
Tony Smith, 02 Jan 2014
Apple Mac Pro

Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Apple’s cylindrical computer, the Mac Pro, will finally go in sale tomorrow, the Cupertino giant has decided. Based on Intel Xeon chippery with up to 12 processing cores on board, up to 64GB of DDR3 ECC memory and a pair of AMD Radeon FirePro GPUs hooked up to 6GB of GDDR5 video memory in total, it’s hard not to be impressed …
Tony Smith, 18 Dec 2013
Misfit Wearables Shine

Heart part more art than state-of-the-art: Shine wearable activity sensor

I’m not a fitness fan. I don’t jog and I’m more likely to be seen at the swimming baths picking up my kids after lessons than doing lanes myself. But with the big 5-0 coming close, and working as I do in a trade that has me sitting on my bum all day, I find I have a keener interest in my personal well-being than I did when I was …
Tony Smith, 12 Dec 2013
AllSeen Alliance

Open source bods magic up Qualcomm tech to unlock Internet of Things

The Linux Foundation has established an industry-wide initiative to create an accessible-to-all framework for the Internet of Things - or the “Internet of Everything”, as the Foundation now wants us to call it. Dubbed the AllSeen Alliance - sounds a bit Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett, no? - the organisation will do what no one …
Tony Smith, 10 Dec 2013
Facebook data center - server racks

WTF is... NFV: All your basestations are belong to us

Mobile network operators would have had an easier life if it wasn’t for smartphones and the flood of data traffic they initiated. Apps have led to a massive increase in the volume of data moving back and forth over phone networks - not just from users; the ads in free apps helped too - and operators are struggling to cope. And …
Tony Smith, 09 Dec 2013
Motorola MotoActv GPS fitness tracker

Bluetooth Smart to tap IPv6-powered Internet of Things after 4.1 upgrade

The brains behind Bluetooth have published a new version of the wireless peripheral specification which will, they claim, enhance the standard’s support for the very low-power gizmos that make up the Internet of Things. Bluetooth’s suitability for wearable kit, from smartwatches to health monitors and fitness gauges, will be …
Tony Smith, 05 Dec 2013

Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen jacks will be REVERSIBLE

USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible. Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed "Type C", will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug. That’s big improvement over existing USB 3.0 micro "Franken-connector" jacks which …
Tony Smith, 05 Dec 2013
Dead Rising 3

Desperate MS flaunts UNDEAD SPLAT TALLY to pep Xbox One fans

You have to feel sorry for Microsoft. Sales of its new, next-generation console, the Xbox One, have clearly so far failed to come close to those of Sony’s PlayStation 4. It seems the best it can do in the battle of the console stats is tell us how many hours Xboxers have spent on the thing. Insisting that Xbox One is “delivering …
Tony Smith, 04 Dec 2013
Quirky.com Spotter

Sensors and sensibility: Quirky’s Spotter multi-purpose monitor module

It sounds such a good idea: a compact, battery powered general-purpose sensor pod you can stick pretty much anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network you have access to, and which will ping you temperature, humidity, sound, light and movement info over the internet to your smartphone. Quirky.com Spotter Quirky’s Spotter: internet- …
Tony Smith, 04 Dec 2013
Sony PS4

Sony brags: We've hit over 2 MEELLION PS4 console 'sales' worldwide

Proud-as-Punch PlayStation purveyor Sony has cheerfully revealed it has sold more than two million PS4s around the globe. The new-generation console went on sale in the States and Canada on 15 November, and in Europe and Australasia this past Friday. The first 24 hours saw “more than one million gamers” pick up one of the …
Tony Smith, 03 Dec 2013
Han Solo DL-44 blaster

What is thy bidding? Han Solo’s shooter goes under the hammer

Assuming you don’t put your faith in ancient weapons and hokey religions, your only option is to pack a good blaster at your side - and what better blaster than Han Solo’s very own DL-44? And now it could be yours, if you have at least $300,000 to spend. Yes, the 275mm long prop used by Harrison Ford and, it’s claimed, Mark …
Tony Smith, 03 Dec 2013
Sony PS4

Sony PS4 SHATTERS UK console sales SPEED RECORD

The PS4 is officially the UK’s fastest-selling games console. Ever. Numbers released to insiders yesterday by GfK Chart-Track, which monitors over-the-counter sales of games hardware and software using sales figures supplied by retailers (not manufacturers), show some 250,000 UK-based punters snapped up a PS4 during the first 48 …
Tony Smith, 03 Dec 2013
Dragon 32 computer

El Reg Contraption Confessional No.1: The Dragon 32 micro

It's probably fair to say that we all have some old tech squirrelled away that we just can't bear to part with. It's not just sentimentality either, but practicality: it still works, why chuck it out? Here at Vulture Central we've our own collection of junk tech memorabilia that would make us a tad dewy-eyed if it should depart …
Tony Smith, 30 Nov 2013
Raspberry Pi

Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

US department store Macy’s recently said it is implementing iPhone-based tracking tech the better to encourage browsing punters to buy. Of course, Macy has chosen to pitch this as an Apple technology - figuring, presumably, iPhone owners are more receptive to inducements delivered through technology and have more cash to splash …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Britain’s forgotten first home computer pioneer: John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Too few people today remember John Miller-Kirkpatrick, the enthusiastic founder, owner, manager and technical director of Bywood Electronics. He died in December 1978 at the monstrously young age of 32, less than two years before the début of the Sinclair ZX80 and the start of the UK home computing boom – for which he had helped …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
iBuyPower Steam Box

Valve pal iBuyPower touts cut-price Steam box as powerful as PS4 or Xbox

Californian games PC maker iBuyPower has become one of the first vendors to take the wraps off an upcoming box based on Valve’s Steam OS. It is, of course, a high-end PC in a console-style box - which is, after all, what today’s next-generation games consoles are. It just happens to run Linux rather than Windows, though the …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013
BBC 3D Day of the Doctor

BBC's 3D blunder BLASTED OUR BRAINS – Doctor Who fans

Does the BBC still dislike Doctor Who the way it did back in the 1980s? Its presentation on iPlayer of this past Saturday’s 50th anniversary special, Day of the Doctor, suggests it might do. The 3D version is giving us headaches and eye-strain, allege eager Whovians. The format chosen for streaming the show in a form suitable …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung and HTC face Android 3D graphics test chart removal SHAME

Benchmark software operation Futuremark has said it believes Samsung and HTC have attempted to rig the results its graphics testing app, 3DMark Android, yields when run on four of the two manufacturers’ most popular devices. According to Futuremark, “when a device is suspected of breaking our rules it is delisted”. Among those …
Tony Smith, 26 Nov 2013

Xbox One FAILS to beat PS3 - yes, PS 3 - week one sales

Microsoft’s high profile Xbox One launch did not attract as many British punters as Sony’s PlayStation 3 notched up some six-and-a-half years ago, UK retail sources have revealed. The next-gen machine went on sale in the UK on Friday 22 November. Sales made by Britain’s biggest High Street and online retailers hit in the region …
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013
Electric Imp

Little devil: Electric Imp is an Internet of Things Wi-Fi PC-ON-AN-SD-CARD

Most products’ origins are prosaic: an inventor or a suit spots a gap in the market and attempts to fill it. Other products, however, have rather more bizarre beginnings. A case in point: Electric Imp came about because co-founder Hugo Fiennes wanted to connect the lights in his new bathroom to the internet. That’s just the kind …
Tony Smith, 25 Nov 2013
Kano computer kit

HURRI-KANO: Raspberry Pi kit for kids STORMS past funding target

You don‘t know the POWER of the Dark Side Register. Yesterday morning we happened to mention that Kano, a UK-based company that wants to make a rather tasty Raspberry Pi-based DIY computer kit for kids, wanted $100,000 (£62,200) to make it so. At the time, it had garnered pledges totalling just over $34,000. Kano computer kit …
Tony Smith, 21 Nov 2013
Apple iPad Mini 2013

Dear-ly beloved: Apple’s costly iPad Mini with Retina Display

Last year’s iPad Mini really was playing second fiddle to the regular iPad. Not merely smaller than its sibling, the Mini had a much lower resolution display. It had a less powerful processor too. It felt like a product Apple was obliged to make rather than one it actually wanted to. Twelve months on, and the Mini’s first update …
Tony Smith, 21 Nov 2013
Kano computer kit

Citizen Kano pitches easy-build Raspberry Pi for code-hungry kids

Anyone can toss together a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of accessories and call it a computer learning kit, but Kano has a more joined-up approach which it’ll put into production if it can raise $100,000 by the middle of December. Launched on Kickstarter yesterday, Kano the computer is described by Kano the company - named after the …
Tony Smith, 20 Nov 2013

MILEY CYRUS in JUST HER PANTIES would LOVE a smartwatch: Samsung

Samsung has scoffed at claims that it has sold hardly any of its shiny, pricey Galaxy Gear smartwatches. And it has clutched Miley Cyrus’ knickers to its corporate bosom to help it shift even more. The company’s UK wing yesterday tweeted: “Hey, Miley. You should have a look at our Gear,” and attached a picture of skimpy ladies …
Tony Smith, 19 Nov 2013
Qualcomm Toq

TOQ of the TOWN: A second screen for the second screen. Third screen?

Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch – something of a vanity project for the company’s display division – will go on sale on 2 December direct from the mobile processor giant’s website. On the day, Android smartphone owners will be able to order a Toq for a whopping $350 (£217). Qualcomm Toq Qualcomm began talking Toq back in September …
Tony Smith, 18 Nov 2013
The Master

What a plot of nonsense: Ten Master master plan FAILS

“I am the Master, and you will obey me.” He was the Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes, another renegade Time Lord and always out to conquer the universe - or destroy it. The Master The vicar of diaboly Source: BBC There’s a fan theory that the Master was no megalomaniac at all, but an agent of the Time Lords …
Tony Smith, 18 Nov 2013
Buncefield fire scene

First the Yanks, now us: In-flight mobe use WON'T kill us all, say Eurocrats

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is to ease the rules limiting the use of electronic devices in aircraft passenger cabins. Phones, tablets, ebook readers, MP3 players - all the kit we’re currently told to turn off during taxiing, take-off and landing will, the agency said yesterday, be allowed to stay on provided their …
Tony Smith, 14 Nov 2013
Research Machines 380Z

The micro YOU used in school: The story of the Research Machines 380Z

If you’re a British techie of a certain age, there’s only one microcomputer that defines your first memories of computing at school. No, not Acorn’s BBC Micro – the Research Machines 380Z. While Acorn was still knocking up the Proton, the machine being designed as the successor to the Atom, and while the BBC was pondering how it …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2013
Doctor Who

Ten top stories from New Who

We’ve already listed the stories that mark the very best that the many production teams behind the classic years of Doctor Who during the 1960s, 70s and 80s brought to our TV screens. It seems only fair, then, to do the same for the rebooted series’ run. Doctor Who returned in April 2005 with the story Rose, and there have been …
Tony Smith, 12 Nov 2013
Fuze Raspberry Pi kit

RETRO-GASM: The Fuze electronics kit for the Raspberry Pi

Back in the day of the board computers of the late 1970s - your Scrumpi, your Nascom 1, your UK-101 et al - it was customary to build a case for it out of wood. If you were a better equipped "constructor" - what we used to call "makers" in those days - you’d build a box out of metal. Folk like Tangerine offered optional cases, …
Tony Smith, 11 Nov 2013
The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Doctor Who nicked my plot and all I got was a mention in this lousy feature

There’s no question: blocked Doctor Who writers and Script Editors - or Story Editors as they were in the very early days - frequently turned to movies and books for inspiration. They regularly resorted to, ahem, "borrowing" plots and ideas from famous flicks and notorious novels for the basis for their Doctor Who stories. …
Tony Smith, 11 Nov 2013
Doctor Who McCoy titles

Classic telly FX tech: How the Tardis flew before the CGI era

These days it’s all done with computers, of course. CGI – short for Computer-Generated Images, or Imagery – was a well established visual effects technique long before Doctor Who was rebooted in 2005, so it was never in doubt that on-set mechanical effects would be duly combined with CGI visuals during post-production. Both the …
Tony Smith, 08 Nov 2013